Personnel Index - Detail
P/O Crisp served with 49Sqn when no operational flights were taking place (but see the information below).
Sgt John Crisp in 1940 at RAF Tangmere
The Association is most grateful to Mr John Birch (the nephew of P/O Crisp) for the above photograph and the following fascinating information.
The above extract shows that P/O Crisp qualified for his flying badge on the 22nd February 1936.
In May 1936 he was posted, as a qualified pilot, to 49Sqn who were based at Worthy Down.
It would appear that on the 8th March 1937 P/O Crisp, in company with Acting Pilot Officer Learoyd, were engaged in some unauthorised low flying in a Tiger Moth which resulted in a crash landing, damage to the aircraft and some injury to Acting P/O Learoyd.
Unfortunately, despite some quick thinking by P/O Crisp, his reason for the low flying (described above) was not accepted and he was taken to a Court-Martial.
The three charges are described below.
It is interesting to consider that in 1937 low flying was considered to "cause annoyance to persons" and yet in 1940 similar skills, displayed by the now recovered Flight Lieutenant Learoyd, won him the VC attacking the Dortmund Ems Canal.
It would appear that P/O Crisp was found guilty and dismissed in May 1937.
Events in Europe now changed the future for John Crisp.
In August 1939 he rejoined the RAF and, after only six short flights over one day, he re-soloed.
Surprisingly, this particular flying school was closed on the outbreak of WW2.
As can be seen (at the top right of the page) P/O Crisp was surprised to be posted to the Initial Training Wing at Hullavington.
"Why the hell for?"
On the 10th April 1940 John Crisp was awarded a Bar to his flying badge. It is noted that the Badge was first awarded in 1936.
In June 1940 he was posted to an OTU to learn to fly Hurricanes.
In July 1940 he was posted to Tangmere.
After an incredibly busy August 1940, when he admits to being "very scared", P/O Crisp had to bale out after confronting five Me109s.
Unfortunately, he broke his leg and was unable to fly again for over eight months.
In May 1941 he returned to 43Sqn and after one check flight was back flying solo.
In July 1941 he joined 122 'City of Bombay' Squadron and converted to Spitfires.
After a large number of flights including many "Rodeo" operations, Pilot Officer Crisp was posted missing, presumed dead, on the 8th June 1942.
37387 Pilot Officer John Lawrence Crisp was just 25 when he was killed.
John Crisp is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial